Bleach Lab process grief and trauma through new ‘Old Ways’

Photo Credit: Isy Townsend

The deeper we get into this young and undeveloped 2021, the clearer the picture of 2020 becomes. And for many, there’s a lot of grief and trauma that clouds the year that was, both on deeply personal levels but also in all the things we’ve witnessed along the way. We all process our mental and emotional wounds in our own unique way, and for English quartet Bleach Lab, the pairing of two distinct and recent tribulations within the band has helped shape magnetic new single “Old Ways.”

The result shows a a raw emotion forming around a core of empathetic songwriting, the type of pull that draws the listener deep into the South London band’s own world. Out today (January 19), “Old Ways” is the latest track off Bleach Lab’s forthcoming EP, March 19’s A Calm Sense of Surrounding, which thematically surrounds the death of bassist Josh Longman’s father and the breakdown of singer Jenna Kyle’s long-term relationship.

With lyrics penned by the pair, the EP tackles the five stages of grief — anger, denial, bargaining, depression, acceptance — and how they fit into our lives. “Old Ways,” in particular, approaches the stage of anger, and leans into Kyle’s past trauma.


“’Old Ways’ explores the angry side of the grieving process at the end of a relationship,” she says. “Anger towards the way in which they treated you but also towards oneself for still missing them regardless.”

It’s a delicate tune on the surface, but one with a massive undertow as it unfolds, a guitar-pop song weathered and ached with an ending that feels quite abrupt. And maybe that’s by design. Listen in below.